Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on the situation in Haiti
We thank Ms. Helen La Lime for briefing us on the very complex situation in Haiti. Also, we listened with interest to the statement delivered by Ms. Emmanuela Douyon. We welcome the personal presence of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Haiti H.E. Mr. Claude Joseph at this meeting.
Unfortunately, every UNSC meeting on Haiti brings ever more alarming news. In the three months since we considered the previous report, Haiti has endured fresh major upheaval.
We find it very discouraging that the quest for a long overdue solution to the protracted internal political crisis has been deferred for an indefinite term yet again. Failure to establish an effective and mutually respectful dialogue between the key political forces over the recent years has spawned the situation whereby the levers of state governance are concentrated in the hands of executive authorities. Amid of these circumstances, the internal political pressure could be mitigated with the help of efficient legislative and judicial branches, coupled with professional, well-equipped and adequately funded law enforcement. However the country does not have these so far.
The absence of adequate political will has resulted in the fact that parliamentary elections, which are needed to stabilize the situation, have been repeatedly postponed over the recent three years, and this trend does not seem likely to change any time soon. The absence of stable state power that would be able to effectively resolve daily problems has resulted in illegal armed groups (that continue fighting for areas of influence) rearing their heads.
As a result, a “highly explosive mix” has emerged that consists of the tenuous system of governance, the absence of law and order, and ongoing rampant violence by criminal groups. In addition to this, regular natural disasters further aggravate the suffering of ordinary Haitians. There is an urgent need to address issues that are inevitable to all States, among them combating unemployment and improving overall standards of living. However, the people of Haiti are most concerned with a staggering lack of physical safety for the population.
We cannot but be appalled by the information contained in the report from the World Bank that in 2021, 60% of Haitians will fall under the poverty threshold. Besides, the paralysis of the governance system has created solid obstacles for international assistance.
We note the efforts done under these difficult circumstances by mechanisms of the UN system, including the Secretary-General's Peace Building Fund, that support the authorities of Haiti in implementing the important programs aimed at curbing violence and promoting disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration.
Clearly, such a dire situation in this insular country requires consolidated international support, first and foremost, from regional neighbors. In this connection, we are dismayed by the decision to forcibly return to Haiti those people who cobbled together their last money to leave the country in search of better lives for their children. The plans to return to Haiti 14,000 individuals, in addition to the 8000 Haitians already returned, raise utmost concern.
During the discussion of the previous report in June, we all expressed hope that the initial glimmers of a fragile process of nationwide political dialogue would help duly facilitate the conduct and preparations of presidential and parliamentary elections. However, all optimistic forecasts collapsed in the wake of the shocking assassination of President Jovenel Moïs on 7 July.
Regardless of who is responsible for this crime, a blow was dealt to the entire Haitian people. For this specific reason, there is a tremendous need to identify and hold accountable the perpetrators in this atrocious crime. The Secretary-General’s report mentions the request for the United Nations to assist in the investigation. It is important to use every available opportunity to help the Haitians in this process.
Evidently, the decision as to how the country should exit the crisis needs to be made solely by the Haitians themselves through a broad national dialogue.
Therefore, we welcome efforts to seek consensus among the opposing public forces in the country regarding their future. We have taken note of the agreement of 11 September, according to which the elections are to be held by the end of 2022. We believe attempts by external players or experts to impose some conveniently tailored decisions will further exacerbate the situation.
The United Nations Mission and its chief, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General have been mandated to help facilitate the establishment of inclusive internal dialogue in Haiti. Porte-au-Prince needs responsible international assistance, and the current situation places particular responsibility on the UN presence in that country.
Russia stands ready to continue assisting Haiti both bilaterally and multilaterally. In order to help eradicate the consequences of natural disasters, we have carried out some deliveries of medical and surgical kits jointly with WHO. We will keep working to ensure that the UN Security Council play a constructive role in normalizing the situation in Haiti, strengthening sovereignty and self-sufficiency of this state, improving the lives and ensuring safety and security of its citizens.